Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Polonaise is closing - L

Last night I review my options for closing the front of the polonaise:

Skirt hooks - robust, yet truly ugly
Hook tape - big flap, wouldn't stay closed
Snap tape - pulled and, well, risky
Small hooks - we have a winner!

They look good (don't show), lay flat, stay hooked.  The biggest downside is that they will take a bit of time to sew.  In order for this solution to work, I have to sew a lot of them.  On a positive note, I don't have to wait for Saturday to decide.  Now I can use the group sew to get help on more challenging issues.  Like how to turn a woman's long blazer into a man's frock coat and include about 3 more inches of shoulder space.  And how to add 6 inches in the sleeve.  I have a diabolical plan!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Some things are done, and ironing - L

Ahead of our Saturday sewing day, I got a couple things done and began organizing the stuff I'm bringing to Robin's house.  First, my daughter's skirt is done.  I hate hate hate the fabric and I suffered, but it's done.  Also I knit an 'Edwardian Jacket' and am finished.  I probably picked the wrong yarn since it completely eliminates any semblance of waist when I wear it.  Here they are:
For the record, I will never plan to sew ribbon to a bias cut skirt made of super-slippery fabric ever, ever, again.  I measured and pinned, and measured and sewed and kept measuring and sewing.  And all the parts slipped and skewed under the feed dogs and in between my fingers.  I love the stripes at the bottom but they don't bear close examination.  The sweater was really fun to make and I learned a lot.  I have never tried to follow a pattern for a sweater before.  Never knit a garment before.  In fact I just learned how to read a pattern (sort of).  I taught myself to modify the number of stitches to adjust for my gauge, and I learned to make buttonholes and a collar.  I didn't even try hard to match the color shift but if looks fine (at least to me).  So what if it is the single most unflattering sweater I have?  I did it!

I also washed some new fabrics and started to iron them.  I hate ironing even more than I hate that slippery fabric.  Two bolts of muslin still await me tonight.  Do I sound cranky?  You betcha.  Here's what I'm working on this Saturday:
Finish the front closure of the polonaise - or choose the closure and get part of it done
Fit the bustle tapes
Start on my hat - I bought some stuff to put on it
Take a picture!
Trace my renaissance patterns in my size
Fit my daughter's bustle and apron
Sew on my daughter's sleeves.
Choose trim for her bodice
Come up with ideas for modding a jacket into a frock coat for her boyfriend.

It IS a lot, but my daughter will attend and do much of this herself.  I hope.  And come what may, the polonaise will be complete by the end of the weekend.  That's the whole outfit except the hat!

We always dream of getting a lot more done than we actually accomplish. Not that we don't work really, really hard on sewing days, it's just that we dream really, really big (and have major time management problems, never realizing how long it takes to do stuff)!  

And, Lisa, the skirt looks great.  Anyone who bends down to really look at the stripes must be intent on some sort of perversion and will be hastily dispatched! Or at least "shooed". 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Corset Channels Sewn - R

The boning channels of the corset are now sewn in. The next step is putting in the grommets.  I need to get this part done before next Saturday because we are having another sewing session.  Lisa was over for a party at my house this weekend and graciously basted in my Pagoda Top sleeves correctly so I could try it on.  The top looks like it fits fine, so I'll cut if out in the fashion fabric and have it put together for the final fitting on Saturday.  I'm a little worried about the corset because when I hold it up to myself it seems too small.  We won't really know until Saturday when Lisa can truly lace it up for me.  I hate doing all this work and not really knowing how it's going to come out.  Each channel seam has to be sewn 3 times for strength due to the stresses put on the corset.  There are four layers of material:  One of silk, two of coutil for strength, and one of muslin for the inner lining. That's a lot of material to sew through and it slowed me down.  When I got tired of looking at white-on-white, I switch to working on the bonnet so my eyes wouldn't go "snow-blind".

Who's the bigger dork?
The person who pinned and basted sleeves during a big party?
Or the person who worked on her bonnet during a stock trading technology conference?

Give Rob her kudos!  She sat and hand-sewed a Dickensian Bonnet surrounded by a bunch of mostly young male traders, intent on gettin' rich in the stock market.  She was gettin' ruche.